for a self-confessed night person, i seem to be doing a lot of things that require me to wake up early in the morning. this saturday was no exception, as i motorcycled down to jamaica plain to meet up with eliza for brunch. it's been a while since i've been down to JP, the last time at the start of the year, and i can't even remember the last time i biked down there. the ride was uneventful, a windy 60 degrees on a sunny day.

eliza showed up in her antique bicycle and we decided to get some french brunch at bon savor on the corner of centre street and pond street. the place was crowded but we got the last table, one auspiciously by the window so eliza could keep an eye on her bike. i ordered the french omelette which had asparagus and avocado. it had a distinctively mild taste but the portion was very filling. i washed down everything with a (freshly-squeezed?) glass of orange juice. eliza showed me her new camera phone, having just recently upgraded after being without a cellphone for almost a month. when our order came, we were like two photo nerds, taking photos of our omelettes, attracting the unwanted attention of the other bistro patrons. looking at a glass cabinet, eliza told me see recognized it as an ikea furniture. later we discovered that several of our glasses were from ikea as well.

afterwards we visited nearby pluto , a store of knick knacks, where eliza wanted to look for a pair of elton john sunglasses to replace the ones she'd lost. at first we thought it was closed but when we peered through the storefront a woman opened the door for us. she told us that today was actually the last day the store would be opened and everything was 50% off. it's sad enough that another independent retailer was going out of business, but what was even sadder was when she told us the story about the owners, how one of them died of cancer (that could've been cured had the doctor not misdiagnosed). we wanted to buy something to help them out but we left empty-handed.

while eliza went to an afternoon baseball game in fenway, i headed down to the nearby arnold arboretum to check out the lilacs. i'd never seen the place so crowded, a line of cars snaking around the perimeter of the park, folks getting a head start on the lilacs sunday celebration happening tomorrow.

i was surprised to see so many trees with leaves already, like they couldn't wait to get photosynthesizing. i was also surprised to find many of the lilacs already in bloom (especially since spring began so late this season) but it'd probably be another week before they'd all be at their peak.

although i like the scent of lilacs, my favorite fragrant blooming bush is of course the viburnum, a spicy scent with a touch of clove. if there wasn't so many people around, i bet i could spend the whole day just standing there smelling up all the flowers.

after the lilacs i was ready to go back home. i exited the arboretum thinking it'd lead to a shortcut but i ended up taking the long way back down centre street. it didn't help that i had to go to the bathroom and every single bush i passed was an opened invitation to relieve myself. i got some photos of a butterfly which i later identified as an american painted lady (compare/contrast with the butterflies i saw 3 weeks ago, the eastern comma and the mourning cloak) (here's a photo of a painted lady revealing its underside from 2 years ago).

riding back, there was a bit of traffic near the fenway area because of the red sox game. i weaved between a bunch of cars to get to the head of the line, then played it safe when i suddenly remembered i don't have health insurance yet.

back at home, i saw my neighbor steve working on the garden. feeling guilty that he and his partner paul have been doing so much garden maintenance, i went out to help him. we mulched everything down with red cedar bark which i can still smell through the open windows. after i came back inside i watched the rest of the red sox game, the hometown team expanding their lead against the baltimore orioles. i fell asleep on the couch, waking up later in the evening to heat up some lasagna for dinner. going to the bathroom i smelled something funny. asparagus funny!